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On Friday, dozens of organizations and social movements from all over the world met on Margarita Island, Venezuela, for the International Preparatory Meeting for the Social Pre-COP on Climate Change, issued a letter of solidarity with the people of Gaza, Palestine and to condemn the Israeli attacks.
The letter calls on the international community to act immediately to stop the serious human rights violations of the Israeli State, as well as its lack of compliance with international law and the United Nations resolutions against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
After over ten days of attacks, including the beginning of an Israeli land invasion on Gaza yesterday, hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, have been killed.
(The audio belongs to the reading of the letter by activist Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth International, at the final plenary session of the International Preparatory Meeting for the Social Pre-COP on Climate Change)
For 10 days, the Israeli army has continued to intensify its bombings of the Palestinian territory of the Gaza strip, causing the death of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including children.
The Israeli army has now launched a land invasion which will undoubtedly lead to an even greater loss of Palestinian lives.
We, social movements, climate justice organisations, popular organisations, NGOs, youth, women and Indigenous groups representing millions of citizens of every colour, creed, nationality and religious belief and those with none - from Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East meeting in Venezuela at the Social preCOP gathering of global civil society on the climate crisis – are united in condemning these horrific attacks against the besieged men, women and children of Gaza.
We call on the international community to press for the cessation of this wave of deadly violence and the immediate lifting of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. We call on our fellow citizens and people’s organisations to add their voices to the countless millions already protesting in the streets of every capital in revulsion at this attack by the Israeli state.
Today, the Israeli state began a land invasion against Gaza, afflicting the people of Gaza, subject to an illegal and inhumane blockade since 2007, with new bombings, deaths and destruction including that of a five-month-old child killed in Rafah within hours of the beginning of the invasion.
We deplore all civilian casualties and we consider that, as the occupying force under international law, the State of Israel bears responsibility.
No one has forgotten the massacres perpetrated by the same Israeli army during the operation "Cast Lead" in 2008-2009, resulting in the death of nearly 1,500 Palestinians and that the same excuses were put forward by the Israeli government to justify this murderous attack.
The Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu has systematically worked towards wrecking the legitimate desire of the Palestinian people for an independent Palestinian State and an end to decades of Israeli Occupation.
Any chance of peace goes hand in hand with the international community bringing Israel’s impunity to an end and a global campaign of boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions until Israel abides by the relevant UN resolutions.
As the inspirational anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Tutu said.
"In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.
The same issues of inequality and injustice today motivate the divestment movement trying to end Israel’s decades long occupation of Palestinian territory and the unfair and prejudicial treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them."
We, here at this gathering of global civil society, are working together to stop the climate crisis – and hold a belief in an equitable, sustainable and just world. As part of our belief that ‘another world is possible’ we know that we will not be free until Palestine is free.
Friends of the Earth International/Amigos de la Tierra Internacional
Articulacion continental de movimientos sociales hacia el ALBA – ALBA Movimientos
REDES – Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay
International Climate Justice Alliance
Grupo Excursionista Ecologico Ambientalista Yaracuy
Earth in Brackets
Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
Jubilee Sur America
Amigos de la Tierra America Latina y Caribe
World March of Women
Nora Morales de Cortinas – Madre de Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora
Centro Martin Luther King de Cuba
Movimiento de Los Trabajadores Rurales Sin Tierra
Third World Network
Institute of Policy Studies, Climate Policy Programme
Dialogo 2000 - Jubileo Sur Argentina
Colectivo Viento Sur de Chile
Movimiento de los Pequenos Agricultores MPA - Brazil
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